50 Words or Less
The PING G430 LST driver has meaningfully lower spin than the G430 MAX without giving up robust ball speed, launch, and spin. Smaller footprint than the MAX. Much quieter than G425 LST.
Having too much spin on your drives isn’t fun. You lose distance, and your ball gets battered in the wind. Thankfully there are ways to fix it. You can do what I did: teach golf lessons, mime the exaggerated “swing to right field” move hundreds of time a day, and end up hitting knuckleballs off the tee. Or you can buy a low spin driver like the PING G430 LST. I’d recommend the latter.
At a glance, the PING G430 LST driver is a near twin of the G430 MAX and G430 SFT. They share the matte black crown and turbulators that have been PING’s calling cards for several generations. However, a closer look reveals a difference: Carbonfly Wrap. This is the first time in recent memory that PING has used carbon fiber in one of their drivers. The application here is ideal: noticeable but not distracting.
In the bag, the G430 LST is almost indistinguishable from the G430 MAX [review HERE]. Both have prominent PING branding across the middle of an all black sole. They also share the movable weight at the back of the head and smaller branding on the heel and toe.
Above, you see the PING G430 MAX (left) next to the G430 LST driver. Beyond the Carbonfly Wrap, the biggest difference is the size. The G430 LST driver is significantly shorter from front to back, with a very compact, round, symmetrical footprint. It also has a taller face by almost 1/4″.
Sound & Feel
Testing the PING G430 LST driver alongside the G430 MAX, I was curious if the Carbonfly Wrap would have any impact on the sound. My conclusion is that it does, but it’s not one you’re likely to notice on the course. Like the G430 MAX and its predecessor, the G430 LST is quieter than G425 LST [review HERE]. Overall, I would rate the impact sound as being solid, closer to a “thud,” but the LST does have a bit more “pop” than the MAX on center. While I do prefer quieter drivers, I came to view that extra note as a pat on the back for striking it well.
Feedback through the hands is slightly more prominent with the G430 LST than the other two G430 drivers. In the larger picture, it’s still extremely stable, but you can easily locate the strike location. Like its brothers, the G430 LST produces a very light, quick feeling at impact.
Finally, I found it remarkably easy to switch between the G430 LST and G430 MAX drivers. Often, the change in CG between an OEM’s forgiving driver and their low spin model really affects the way it feels during the swing. With PING, I was able to go back and forth without issue.
The obvious place to start with the PING G430 LST driver is the namesake feature: low spin. In the past, some players have found that there wasn’t a big enough gap between the LST driver and the MAX. PING has most certainly rectified that with the G430 LST. As a fairly low spin player, I was seeing about 200 RPM less spin with the LST compared to the MAX. In talking to my fitter friends, I found I’m on the low end. They’re routinely seeing 300-400 RPM reductions when switching to the LST. Depending on your ball speed, that can translate to noticeable gains in distance and, potentially, better dispersion.
What I’ve always found impressive about PING’s low spin drivers is that they don’t sacrifice much in terms of forgiveness. Looking purely at ball speed, the G430 LST gives up almost nothing compared to the G430 MAX. At points in my testing, I was giving the heel side a solid workout, but the ball speed and smash factor remained high. The one noticeable difference, however, is dispersion. My mishits with the G430 LST were further offline than those with the G430 MAX.
Something that the G430 LST and MAX share is their wide range of adjustability. In the LST, the movable weight at the back is slightly lighter – 22 grams vs. 25 grams – but it still has a significant impact on ball flight. According to PING, it can alter the ball flight 7 yards left or right, but I think that effect will be bigger for many players. Pair that with the eight position hosel which modifies loft, face angle, and lie angle and you have a driver which can go from slice-buster to anti-left.
For players that want lower spin off the tee without sacrificing much forgiveness, the PING G430 LST driver is nearly impossible to beat. When you factor in the massive adjustability and improved sound, it’s likely that PING has a modern classic on their hands.